A recent article targeted the movie industry for lagging behind television in its depiction of homosexual and lesbian heroes. No doubt there will be television and movie parity on this indicator in the next couple years.
Articles like this offer us another occasion to consider how we think about such things. Here are a few thoughts.
Our culture’s majority position on homosexuality reminds us that we do not live in Christian America. Some of the residual belligerence against pro-homosexual legislation comes from the belief that we live in a Christian America, and how dare anyone hijack our heritage. The reality, of course, is that the Kingdom of God has nothing to do with present-day cartography. Christian America is a myth and, at times, a dangerous one. Perhaps the Christian reaction connects to fears that public approval of homosexuality predicts our national decline, and bad things are sure to come.
Homosexual marriage was a foregone conclusion years ago. There is, I think, very little to do in the public square on this matter. The writing has been on the wall for over a decade. I have never heard an argument against homosexual marriage that is even remotely persuasive to someone who does not accept the authority of Scripture. There are many behaviors proscribed by Scripture that do have broad cultural support. We all stand against murder, perjury, slander, even marital unfaithfulness. Yet, stands against homosexuality seem capricious and even unjust, and we need to understand why other people think so.
Where can we be salt and light? So given that homosexual marriage is here to stay—now what? How do we talk about these things in a way so as not to become a stumbling block? What are the critical political issues? How do we engage with both those who hold strongly to a homosexual political position and those who are in different phases of dealing with their own homosexual desires? The answer begins here: We listen, face-to-face.
Younger evangelicals have already done this. They have homosexual friends and most of their peers think the Christian position is Neanderthal and unloving. And many of these young men and women are beginning to wonder if their peers are right.
We can follow their lead, at least in the way they listen and engage. Then, as we learn more about how to wisely love, we talk about Jesus in a way that is surprising, a little off-balancing, and inviting.